Q: Did you always want to be a farmer? I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to get away from the farm life and go to the city. I wanted to wear suits and ties and drive a nice sports car and have a nice penthouse in the city. Now I don’t want that at all.
Q: What challenges do you face at this point in your career? The challenge is just getting grounded in what I really wanted to do. I had two paths I could take: work for a very large [winemaking] facility or go down the path of an artisan winemaker, and have my own estate vineyard with my own tasting room. I decided I wanted to have a label with my family and one by myself.
Q: What do you love about farming? One of the things I love is how it’s cyclical. There’s a rebirth and a new beginning. You watch the process of fruit being born. Since you get to do that every year, you get to do it a little bit better. It’s also a challenge because it’s weather dependent.
…This was the first year I really was involved in cherries, running a picking crew, helping with supervising pickers, working the strategy around handling a couple different warehouses, then having rains come, too. You have all these moving parts, and yet we still managed to pick a pretty sizable crop and not lose money. It was stressful, and when it was done, it was fun. It’s something I look forward to in the coming year.
TJ Mullinax joined Good Fruit Grower as digital producer and photojournalist in 2013. He photographs and edits visual stories for the print magazine and online publishing spaces. Along with editorial production, TJ develops and maintains the magazine’s digital products. -- Follow the author: Phone: (509) 853-3519 -- Email